USGS addresses rumors: 'Mauna Loa is not erupting'

Mauna Loa sits with remnants of previous flows dating back to 1903. (Image: USGS)
Mauna Loa sits with remnants of previous flows dating back to 1903. (Image: USGS)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2018 at 2:05 PM HST
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KILAUEA VOLCANO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - To ease the minds of Hawaii Island residents, the USGS debunked some rumors on Saturday.

In a world where word spreads fast over social media, some expressed concerns over the stability of Mauna Loa, a second volcanic peak on Hawaii Island.

Rumors spread that Mauna Loa was also going to erupt following Kilauea's ongoing eruption. But USGS scientist Janet Babb said that's simply not true.

"Mauna Loa is not erupting and there is no evidence it is about to erupt," Babb said.

Since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times according to the Hawaii Center for Volcanology at UH Manoa.

The latest flow took place in 1984. Some 220 million cubic meters of lava flowed out of the summit in three different flows.

"Mauna Loa is an active volcano and it will erupt one day, but ... a Mauna Loa eruption is not expected and is not expected any time soon," Babb said.

With that rumor debunked, Babb said USGS officials continue to closely monitor seismic activity at the Kialuea Summit.

Early Saturday morning, another strong earthquake and ash explosion was reported. [Click here for more details.]

A team of scientists around the clock are monitoring what appears to be a cycle — and it's becoming more and more predictable.

Babb says the eruptions and earthquakes appear to be repeating the cycle every 24-48 hours. She says there are several signs that may indicate when the next explosion will occur.

But it's still not fully predictable.

That's why officials continue to urge residents to stay tuned to local media and Civil Defense for the latest developments.

This story may be updated.

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